Friday, July 6, 2007

Kitchen Adventures

As many of you know, I am a recovering vegetarian. Miraculously, even though my eating options have expanded, Husband (mainly a pork/red meat/lamb man) and I (poultry, seafood) still don't come together on many things (bacon, prosciutto). So my cooking hadn't really changed all that much even though my eating habits have.

But I recently discovered that poultry, although not Husband's preferred food, does fall into the category of things he will eat if I make it. Much like all the vegetarian dishes I have made all these years. and shrimp. (which we are sick of)

Last month I bought some chicken thighs at ye oldey Whole Paycheck, excited to play with my new ingredient. I LOVE me some fried chicken and the first thing I tried was a combo pan-fry oven bake version that turned out....terrible. I mean it was cooked through, but other than that it was just terrible. Coating mushy, greasy ugh. SO disappointing. I realized that -hey! Even though I have read about cooking meat all these years that does not mean I know what I am doing!

So it was to the basics for me. Searching for the simplest recipes possible until I get a feel for how to work with this stuff. I oven-baked some of the thighs simply with butter and salt and a sprig of rosemary halfway through. Even though I probably cooked them longer than I needed to (I was waiting for browning that never came), they turned out delicious. Juicy and with rosemary permeated throughout and skin so crispy it was almost like cracklings. The last of them Husband threw on the grill with some homemade BBQ sauce I made slathered on at the very end. MMMMMmmmmm.

Feeling pretty comfortable with this one cut of the chicken so far. So when Husband pointed out the 2 small whole organic chickens at the costco- I said yes! Let's do it! And they've been in the freezer for a few days, awaiting me.

Yesterday I told husband to take one out and spent all day at work scouring the internet for roasting recipes. Some had veggies, some had herbs, some made a pan sauce, some called for trussing. So many ways to do they same thing! But when I happened across the Thomas Keller version, I knew I found the one. (hello, there are 3 ingredients?!) Plus, it is my dream to one day go to the French Laundry. All day I fantasized about crispy skin and uh...crispy skin.

Then I got home and the durn thing was still frozen in the middle. (sigh)

Tune in tomorrow for the exciting conclusion!


lakeview coffee Joe said...

I'm not sure how I feel about Trussing a chicken....doesn't sound like something a lady should do.

Dad said...

Ah Lakeview, so wise in many ways and so ah not so wise in others.

Stef - find that braising is a fab way to really bring out the juiciness of chicken even if you don't have the crispy skin. And their are a billion variations on a theme.

I'm looking forward to more of your creations since I am one of the lucky ones to get a relatively frequent chance to taste them.

alexis said...

sigh. I can see I am going to have to fake a lot of enthusiasm in the future. Then again, I don't expect people to get excited about the concoctions I make, so I suppose it's fair.